Bad news in the morning followed by that upset feeling that is very difficult to shake - where all problems and questions seem insurmountable and unanswerable and you may as well give up and begin a lifetime's hibernation. I hate feeling like that and dig myself further into the hole by saying things to myself like "I shouldn't be like this, I'm normally so upbeat" and so on. It's not very healthy. Luckily it doesn't actually happen very often and generally I cog along doing all the things and generally having a lovely life.
To this end, I did indeed fulfill last week's ambition and GO TO A CAFE to WRITE A LETTER. I took the last couple of hours of Failday and turned them right around (if you say that in a Dolly Parton voice, it sounds pretty good). The cafe I went to was called Jacobs and Field and is near where I'm part-time living in Oxford. I think they make all their own things and the staff are nice and polite and the coffee is good!
Part of this journey in letter-writing is to ensure that I take a bit of time for myself out each week. Coffee, cake and some new stationary (...sssh!) really helped to bring my day up a level. Below is a coconut and cherry cake, the writing necessities and a PEN THAT SMELLS OF WATERMELON ...
It is however the pen that smells, not the ink, which means your fingers then smell of synthetic watermelon.
In terms of content (this isn't just a description of cafes what I have been to), last week I got a surprise letter from my godfather in Australia, so it seemed providential that this week I should write back. I love my Australian family very much. Weeks ago I printed a few pictures to send, so they are tucked in here too. (Last Christmas I included a photo with all of my thank you letters - I never heard anything, but I hope it was a good idea...)
I also thought a lot this week about letters I shouldn't write. Last week would have been an important day for someone no longer with us and for various reasons I had an urge to write a letter not born from fondness and love and having shared fun, but one to express disappointment (don't worry Mark, not to you) and a lot of negative feeling.
I am glad I didn't write such a letter. It would not have been a sharing, but an outpouring, and that's not the point. Letters, though they can stand alone in your hands, are inevitably part of a dialogue and should not (I think) fall back to soliloquy. Writer and recipient. Past and present. Oxford notepaper and watermelon-scented fingers ... small successes.